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goanna Offline OP
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This question is 100% genuine and I would really appreciate replies.

On this site, I’ve noticed a lot of post from people who are fighting to get their relationship back on track despite the fact their partner/spouse is either completely disinterested/uncommitted to the relationship, or overtly wants the relationship to end.

My questions is simply enough- why do people still want to build a relationship with someone who clearly not trying to build a relationship with them? Why invest in a person who is uninterested in investing in you?

I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way, I am simply fascinated, and trying to build my own opinions of marriage and commitment.

All responses will be appreciated and respected.

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The people here highly value the vows they made and their commitment to their marriage. Among these vows are "for better or for worse". If you take these vows seriously, you will do whatever it takes to save it. That's pretty much it.

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Also because, at one time, there was something that attacted the two to each other. Just because the two haven't been working properly on the marriage, and each may have some battle scars, doesn't mean the original feelings may not still be there.

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Quote:

This question is 100% genuine and I would really appreciate replies.

On this site, I’ve noticed a lot of post from people who are fighting to get their relationship back on track despite the fact their partner/spouse is either completely disinterested/uncommitted to the relationship, or overtly wants the relationship to end.

My questions is simply enough- why do people still want to build a relationship with someone who clearly not trying to build a relationship with them? Why invest in a person who is uninterested in investing in you?

I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way, I am simply fascinated, and trying to build my own opinions of marriage and commitment.

All responses will be appreciated and respected.





For me, it was all the years we had been together.....16yrs total and 9yrs married......but, I did have a breaking point.....when I found out my WW was having an affair with someone I knew. She also treated me like a piece of trash.....said I was a loser and told me that she had been going thru the motions in our marriage for years.

I completely fell out of love for her shortly there after. I cared too much for myself to be treated like a doormat, so I gave her the divorce she wanted so she could be with the other man.

3yrs later, after her affair ended, she of course came crying back......TOO LATE! I couldnt stand the sight of her.

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StartingOver, you're my hero!


I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.
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Quote:

StartingOver, you're my hero!




Thanks....LOL, you dont have to go that far. Im noone special. I just decided to have some self esteem for a change and realized I was more worthy of a better wife.

Its crazy.....someone that I loved to death in the beginning......is someone that I find very difficult to even look at now. When we have a conversation on the phone it is ONLY about our kids, otherwise its very awkward to talk to her for me. I usually do not even speak once Ive answered her questions.

Not to be mean.....but she just totally irks me and even though I dont hate her......I really, really do not like her at all. She is like a total stranger to me.

Oh, by the way......Ive been remarried for 5yrs now to a wonderful woman and we have a year old child. We have both told each other that if we would have met prior to our 1st disastrous marriages.....we would have had 5 kids together running around at our house.

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Dr. Harley calls this state an empty love bank. It may also be that the person has entered into the "withdrawal" stage and at that point the empty person doesn't even want the other partner to try and will even sabotage their efforts.

Dr. Harley shows how to deal with these states of mind and heart. Those of us here know that there's a chance those stuck in this empty state can be brought out of it by behaving in the way Dr. Harley prescribes.

I'm divorced, but I can tell you that my ex-husband was amazed and extremely pleased at my new behaviors. My ex was an addict of sorts, so there was no saving my marriage. But, for the time before I realized my ex was beyond my ability to help, I saw amazing changes as a result of what I learned from Dr. Harley. I can't wait to meet someone new so that I can have the really great relationship that Dr. Harley prepared me to have. Of all the books I've read and all the research I've done, I think Dr. Harley has the most comprehensive and effective plan for saving and creating a truly wonderful marriage relationship.

Warrior


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goanna Offline OP
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Thanks for all your replies, and for your honesty.

I should reiterate, the crux of my original question was

NOT

Why try to save a marriage when things are tough?

BUT

Why try to save a marriage/ relationship when the other person has demonstrated overtly (even cruelty) that they are unwilling to try, and that they do not wish to be in a relationship with you?

There is a world of difference between those two scenarios.

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Those are 2 distinct scenarios when talking about a relationship. When you have said your marriage vows, there is very little difference - except perhaps in the case of physical abuse.

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maybe after you get married, have kids, years pass and then all ****** breaks loose... until you've lived it maybe you can't understand

seems to me i'd be just as bad as my cheating wife if i had not even tried to make amends

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I think all marriages have tough times.

If your spouse is cruel and acting like they don't want you, there can be a lot of reasons. If you still try then, what happens is you find out what's underneath it. Then you can address the underlying cause. That's part of doing all you can so that when you do make the decision to leave, you can do it with a clear conscience.

For example, what if through the course of trying you found out your spouse is bipolar and needs only to take medication to behave better? Then leaving may not be necessary. But, if you find out your spouse has Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you would find out through research or counseling that that kind of disorder can't be cured with meds and these people are rarely capable of change. You would have to make the choice to live with the abuse or leave, knowing you can't live with it, but you could do it in good conscience.

What if through the course of trying you found out your partner never loved you and has no intention of learning to love you? Then you can leave in good conscience.

If you found out they're having an affair, there are lots of different types of affairs and understanding which you're dealing with will help you make the right decision about how to deal with it.

I think what it boils down to is that it's unwise to leave a marriage just because someone's behaving cruelly. You have to make an attempt to understand why in order to honor the vow that YOU took. In the end, you need to be accountable for your own choices and what went into making them. I personally felt that the choices I made had everything to do with what I would want someone to do for me if I were mixed up in the head (no one's immune to screwing up and being lost in life from time to time) AND that I would want to behave with the utmost integrity so that the next man who takes an interest in me sees me as someone of character and not superficial (i.e. - not a fair weather friend).

Only you know what you're capable of. I personally pushed myself to the breaking point, but much of that was due to the lies I was being fed. A good book is "Love Must Be Tough" by James Dobson. It doesn't encourage divorce, but it helps you know what steps to take so that you aren't creating a situation where you're being walked all over. The "Boundaries..." books by Cloud & Townsend are really helpful too, for illuminating what you should not tolerate.

If you believe you're being emotionally abused, it might be a good idea to look into legal separation. Sometimes a serious move like this is enough to get a person's attention and get them to snap out of their mindset long enough to be willing to look at the destructive nature of their behavior toward you.

I personally skipped this step and went right to divorce because of the nature of my ex's abuse. He lied about ending his affair, wasting years of my life, when he knew I was perfectly willing to let him go at his say so. He lied about practically everything and seemed to just keep me around to see what else he could squeeze out of me. He couldn't even see the difference between my protests of his treatment and criticism - so narcissistic he couldn't understand the gentlest form of "ouch" and he was so manipulative that he was destroying me.

You really have to try to see what's under it. If your spouse isn't loving toward you, that's at least important enough for you to call a halt to business as usual. But, it sounds like you have some homework to do or that you need to see a counselor to help you sort out the details and get a handle on what's driving the cruelty.

my best wishes to you


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I think the a lot of marriages are wasted because the withdrawn person isn't patting you on the head for the changes you're making right away, so it's frustrating and looks hopeless for a while.

What you have to remember is that you're dealing with someone who has been neglected for who knows how long. Is it totally unreasonable to think it's going to take a while for them to wake from this sleep of sorts and realize that some changes are taking place? No.

And yes - they do get upset - often that's the case - just ask anyone here. Conflict means there's hope.

Personally, I think marriages don't GET strong without adversity. Granted, we obviously don't need infidelity to help it along - there are certainly enough other things that can pop up - financial difficulty, job losses, deaths in the family, etc. etc. Part of what we all signed up for is riding OUT the bad times, not running at the first sign of trouble or conflict.

So, to answer your question, I think it's the committment factor for one thing. Just because your spouse has checked out (hopefully temporarily) doesn't mean you have to follow suit. We all bring our own moral code to the relationship. We don't have to ride our spouse's coat tails out of the marriage.

The key is to take care of yourself, develop healthy boundaries, and make it a priority to learn how to be the best spouse you can. Then (in my opinion) you put a time line on how long you're willing to wait for your spouse to come around. Keep in mind your efforts to change the marriage and yourself have to be genuine and intended to be permanent.

I've heard it referenced here, that 1 month for each year you've been married is reasonable. (And if you have kids, I would add even more time.) People don't become withdrawn overnight - and nor will a reconciliation happen at the snap of our fingers. If our spouses are withdrawn, we can pretty much assume we had quite a bit to do with it. So, we don't have the right to be huffy or inpatient if things don't happen on our own time line.


Sooly

"Stop yappin and make it happen."
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."

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That is great advice, sooly. I'm working on that. My h of 27 yrs. had/has an online love-affair with a much, much younger, prettier woman, for 4 years now. he planed on moving in with her next spring, when her d is final. I found out about it (he acted weirder and distracted) and he said he'd stay, because of the breakdown i had when he told me the ugly truth.he doens't want the responsibility of being at fault for my breakdown, but he does love her more than me, and he wishes i would let him go willingly and throw him out. he always thought i'd throw him out, as this is his second affair. he really loves and misses OW, their talks and chats. I told him that he can walk out, i can't keep anybody who doesn't want to be here with me (we live thousands of miles apart from the OW).
so now he is lovesick(7weeks now.....) and it doesn't get any better, even worse he says. he can't(doesn't want to give up contact. I called him addicted and he got very upset. He is withdrawn, no touching, kissing me at all. he's going through the motions, staying with me being unhappy. He is retired, so he has long, boring lonely days, because he doesn't like to socialice much. I offered to take personal leave or even work part-time, to be with him. He doens't want that, he'd feel more watched. I want to work on this, let him get over it, however long it takes(is it possible to get over it if they keep up contact???)
I have too much to lose....Does it really work, when one partner wants to stay and the other wants to get thrown out???? I read about the EN, talked to him about it and that i know things will work out again...i got no response to that. he doens't believe in counseling, he also doesn't speak the native language here(we live in europe).I even offered to move to the US with him. No response again, only that I should stop being so overly nice, because he is a horrible person for doing this and feeling the way he does.
I'm acting friendly,not cooly towards him. we still spend all of my free hours together walking,reading, every afternoon and all the time on weekends, I'm not going out at all without him, and i don't mind.But sometimes he says he feels smothered. So i go shopping, visit my family for a little while........but nothing changes. Is there help? I don't want to give u fighting for the wonderful marriage we had.

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I understand your question. I was in a marriage that I tried hard to save, he did not want to go to counseling "didn't believe in it" would not get help of any kind whatsoever. The mistake I made was not getting help on my own. He moved out one day, got a place across town, but moved back in about a week later. After that things went down hill, a year later he packed up and moved out of state to be with a woman he met online. That was ten years ago.
I am remarried now, and have learned so much!
Good luck to everyone

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It really is a fascinating question. There are probably as many answers to this question as there are people.

In some situations it is the betrayed spouse who becomes disinterested. Maybe it is out of anger or spite, or because their trust has been shattered and they can't let their defenses down any more.

In other situations it is the betrayer who refuses to re-engage. Sometimes they hope the betrayed spouse will throw up their hands in defeat and file for divorce because that removes some of the guilt they have for causing the marriage to end.

Sometimes no matter who was the betrayer, even if they both try, the relationship is broken beyond repair. The lucky ones find a way to make things work and learn from the mistakes.

There is a fine line between not giving up on the marriage and becoming either a doormat or a hostage to a permanently broken relationship. Every effort should be made - a marriage should not be ended without heroic efforts.

But in my opinion, at some point, to call what is left of a tattered, shredded relationship a "marriage" is to mock the very idea of marriage.

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You know, I have often wondered the same thing, b/c I am guilty of fighting to save my marriage when my H has no interest. I think in my case, it was b/c I have a high level of commitment and b/c I also thought that I was THE ONE for him, that I was wonderful enough that he would want to change. Another part of the puzzle had to do with facts that can't be denied: I was financially and emotionally attached to him.

He truly treated me so bad. He cheated on me with his ex when I was pregnant with our son. Then he moved out and left me with only a part time job. Then came back. Then cheated on me again with his ex after our son was born, moved out again when he was 8 weeks old and at that time I had NO job. When he wanted to come back this last time, I prayed and prayed and finally said ok...it was very difficult b/c my heart still loved him, but my head said no way and my bank account said you had no choice. I am a colleg grad but still couldn't get gainful employment.

So he went to counseling twice by himself, I went by myself, then we went twice together. It helped me, but he always had one foot out the door.

The nature of his bad treatment was sometimes physical, very emotional and I think he has bipolar which he refused to acknowledge. I got an injunction on him and guess where he went? Straight back to his ex. They can have each other.

I am just trying to press into God, make sense of this, realize I am much better off, surround myself with friends and family and love and raise our 1 yr old son.

So, in answer to your question, there are probably many reasons depending on the situation. All of us want to be loved. I think that is the innermost layer of "why" when you get down to it.


"Love the life you live, live the life you love." Bob Marley BS(me)37 WH(37) DS1 Dau from prev M 16 Married 4/06 D-day 6/06, again 11/06, again 4/07 Plan A'd all over the place, then Injunction 10/07, WH moved in with OW WH has own place 12/07 1/08 Plan B
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Goanna,

What I say today about the way I think, see things, like our marriage, is about me today.

Doesn't mean I will think/feel/believe that tomorrow.

A wayward state of mind is very real...it's when you feel entitled, from fueling your own resentment and lack of respect. It's the fog generator...and if you live from reacting to your feelings or choosing directly from your beliefs (like the others were saying...we choose to stay married, fight for our marriages, even when we don't "feel" like it) then most likely you'll take it as you portrayed it...why fight for someone who doesn't feel like staying married to you right now?

Our choice. Our chosen goal. We believe in our partner who married us, vowed to themselves and to us, and we hold ourselves to those vows...even though we've crushed pain into each other for 16 years...we've stopped for three...and found out there's another way to live, to partner, and act from respect, owning our own choices, and loving, anyway.

I don't base MY stuff on his or his on mine...that's what is different. I love because I choose him to love, and I own my actions now of love.

Even when he doesn't feel like it...even when I don't have loving feelings.

And then the feelings follow my actions.

Win/win/win...what I hope for everyone here...not looking for the right partner, focused on being one.

LA

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Noniela and FreeToBeMe,

Why don't you each begin a thread of your own and perhaps some people can post advice directly to you. The forum with the most traffic is the General Questions II forum under infidelity. There is also Just Found Out, and that forum has some very good posts pinned to the top that you should probably read for yourselves. But GQII is the busiest and is where you will get the most help, but whatever forum you post to, there are folks here that can help.

Welcome to Marriage Builders to both of you.

Mark


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